Epping and Ongar Diesel Gala - 17th September 2016
The Epping and Ongar Railway is located at the far end of the London Underground Central Line near Epping. The preserved railway exists because of the former London Underground operation to Ongar, which was closed in 1994 shortening the Central Line back to Epping. If travelling by public transport arriving into Epping Station, passengers are then transferred on the Heritage London Buses and taken the short distance to North Weald Station. The former London Underground route is no longer linked, but in the future there may be a chance to bring the preserved line into Epping for a direct platform transfer between London Underground and the Epping & Ongar Railway. Diesel Gala Event provided a good selection of heritage diesels, including visiting Class 55 'Deltic' No.55019 & recently repainted Class 20 No.20142. Other operating diesels were D6729 (37029), 31438, 08683 & 03170. North Weald is the middle station on the line, where it's possible to continue north to Ongar Station (the original terminus of the Central Line) and south back through Epping Forest to the current Stop Board. There's currently no station in Epping Forest so trains simply reverse having traveled down the steeply graded branch through the unique forest setting. The Saturday night also featured longer running hours along with an evening 'BeerEx' which was fronted by No.55019 in one direction and No.D6729 in the other. The event was well atteneded and provided good local transport links to both Epping and Shenfield Station, the refreshments and hot food was also well planned along with trade stands in a marque at North Weald.
Class 20 No.20142 has recently been repainted into London Transport livery. The locomotive compliments the previous London Underground liveries which have been applied to Class 20 No.20228 and No.20189 making a set of three London Transport themed locomotives. No.20142 carries Metropolitain Railway livery with black and gold lining.